How to Grow Monarda

Updated November 21, 2016

Monarda, also called beebalm, is an herb with square stems and lightly scented foliage. This plant produces eye-catching blooms that are available in white, lavender, red or pink. The flowers develop in summer and last through early fall. Monarda grows between 2 and 4 feet tall and 2 to 3 feet in diameter. It grows best when planted in full sun but will also grow in partial shade. The plants thrive in fertile, well-drained soil but will tolerate a variety of soil conditions.

Loosen the soil with a garden fork to a depth of 10 to 12 inches and amend with a 3- to 4-inch layer of organic compost.

Dig a planting hole, using a garden spade, that is 3 to 4 inches wider and the same depth as the monarda's root ball. Place the roots into the hole at the same level they were previously growing and backfill. Tamp the soil down firmly to eliminate air pockets.

Water until the soil feels very moist. Continue to add moisture any time the top 1/2 inch of soil no longer sticks to your finger.

Pull weeds from around the plants as they appear.

Clip off flowers with pruning shears as they fade to prolong the blooming cycle.

Examine the foliage often for signs of disease, such as dropped or discoloured leaves. Treat right away with foliar fungicide if you notice a problem, as monarda is prone to fungal disease.


You can also propagate monarda from seed, although cultivars will only come true from division or cuttings. Do not allow the soil to dry out completely.

Things You'll Need

  • Garden fork
  • Organic compost
  • Garden spade
  • Pruning shears
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